How to make a lighting plan and place your lighting in the right place

Want to make a lighting plan or have one made? A lighting plan for the living room is different from a lighting plan for the kitchen. Good advice is important: we give tips!

When decorating your home you immediately think of paint, wallpaper, flooring and furniture. Something that many people only think about later is the lighting in the house. The added value of lighting is often overlooked and that’s a shame! Lighting determines functionality, atmosphere and appearance and it is therefore important to carefully think about how and with what you want to light your home. If you want to deal with lighting optimally, make a lighting plan!

In a lighting plan you work out the design of the lighting in your home: a lighting plan brings your ideas to life. This gives you a good idea of how your ideas will affect your interior. Also, if you make this lighting plan before any building or renovation, you can avoid having connection points that you can’t use and missing connection points where you would have liked to have them.

To create a lighting plan for a particular space, it is important to think carefully about the function of the space. What is the space used for? For sleeping, cooking, relaxing, working, showering or bathing, watching television, or reading? What atmosphere should the room exude? Who is going to use this space? Where do you want to do what? What light do you need? There are a number of basic principles when it comes to lighting that can help you get started.

Create a lighting plan for general lighting

General lighting is also called basic lighting. It ensures that there is sufficient light in the room so that the space is evenly and diffusely lit. The light is inconspicuous and casts as few shadows as possible so it is easy on the eyes. It approaches daylight as much as possible. You can achieve this by placing uplighters, for example. These lamps shine the light upwards where it is reflected by the ceiling and thus diffusely illuminates the room. Often general lighting has a high light output and has a good balance between direct and indirect light.

Draw up a lighting plan for work lighting

Work lighting or functional lighting is directional light. You can think of lighting above the dining table or a reading lamp next to an armchair. This type of lighting is often used at different times of day so it is nice if the lighting is adjustable or dimmable. For example, it is nice if a lamp above the dining table can be dimmed. Reading the newspaper requires more light than a romantic dinner. However, it is important that you do not look into the light source and there is no shadowing on the worktop.

Lighting plan for accent lighting

Accent lighting is used to highlight an object or place and focus attention on it. For example, consider a spotlight that highlights a painting or architectural details. Want to know more about this? Check out the accent lighting of

Lighting plan for mood lighting

With decorative lighting or mood lighting, the aesthetics of the fixture is paramount. It does not primarily have the function of lighting a room, but gives a nice effect. Many of these lamps have a lower light output and stand out because of their appearance. They are an eye-catcher in your interior, also a fireplace or candles fall under decorative lighting.

Step-by-step plan for lighting

Step 1: make a good floor plan (with the correct dimensions) of the room. Place your furniture on the floor plan. If there are going to be paintings or works of art, indicate this as well. If the connection points and technical facilities are fixed, it is useful to draw them in the room as well.

Step 2: Next, use circles to represent the activities taking place in the space. Clearly indicate which activities take place in which room: what is the dining area? Where do you read the newspaper? What will be the sitting area?

Step 3: Start by placing the basic lighting in the floor plan. Good basic lighting consists of the right balance of direct and indirect light. Recessed or surface mounted spotlights are good basic lighters with direct light. Uplighters in the form of a floor lamp or wall fixture are good basic lighters with indirect light. You do not need to specify which fixture will be placed at this stage. Simply put crosses or circles in your floor plan where you want to place which type of fixture. If you are not flexible in the placement of your connection points (for example, because it is an older house), you must take this into account. If, for example, you have no connection points in your ceiling, surface-mounted spotlights and recessed spotlights are not an option. If you do have a socket near the floor on the wall, then you can easily place a floor lamp with indirect light.

Step 4: Place mood lighting on your floor plan. Atmosphere is created by creating areas of light. This means playing with light and dark. You can alternate between light and dark by, for example, using diffuse lighting. Again, take into account any fixed connection points.

Step 5: Finally, you add the task lighting. Where you want to read, place well-directed light (for example in the form of a desk lamp or floor lamp). Where you want to work, you also place directional light. Again, take into account any fixed connection points. It is also good to take a critical look at whether you can combine the lighting in a particular place. There are many fixtures that have multiple functions.

Step 6: Now that you know what kind of fixtures you need in the room you can start selecting the final fixtures. This is where personal preferences and desired style come into play. But also the budget is important to take into account.

Step 7: If it is a newly built house where you can define your own connection points then you can indicate where these points should come and where you want to put a dimmer in the switch.

Tips for making a lighting plan

There are a number of things you can take into account when making a lighting plan. lists them for you.

  • Remember that someone aged 65 needs more than 3.5 times as much light as someone aged 25. The amount of light must therefore be able to be adjusted (dimmer) to different ages in a family.
  • A good lighting plan consists of contrasts. Contrast can be compared to a sunny day with lit areas and shaded areas.
  • A good lighting plan plays out at different heights in the interior. By highlighting interior details, accents are created and give the interior atmosphere and character.
  • Want to make your living room look bigger? Then buy lamps that spread indirect light. These lamps reflect the light of the light source through the wall or ceiling. This gives a spatial effect.
  • You choose the lamps in the shape, color and appearance to match your interior style. When you choose shapes, colors and materials that fit together, you create a unity in your interior. The use of product families can be useful.
  • For example, if you want to have two lights switched at the same time, you can install a special unit on the wall socket that can be switched with a remote control. These are available separately from an electrical specialty store. In these remote sockets is usually also a dimming function.
  • The present use of color in a room is also important. Light colors in the interior reflect light, dark colors absorb light. In a room where dark colors are used, therefore, more (artificial) light is needed. Glossy surfaces reflect the light better. Bright colors then become even brighter and white becomes even whiter. Red and pink tones appear deeper in artificial light, blue and green tones, on the other hand, can fade.

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